A former senior Chinese government scientist said the possibility of COVID-19 leaking from a Chinese laboratory could not be ruled out.
Professor George Gao, Former Dean China’s The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told BBC Radio 4 podcast Fever: The Hunt for coronavirus Origin: “You can always doubt anything. That’s science. Don’t rule anything out.”
This is in stark contrast to the position of the Chinese government, which has dismissed any suggestion that the virus may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory.
Wuhan – the city where the virus was first discovered – is home to one of China’s top national laboratories, which has been known to study the coronavirus for years.
Professor Gao played a key role in the response to the pandemic and efforts to trace its origins.
this Coronavirus disease The lab leak theory resurfaced in February, when FBI director says This is where it “most likely” originated.
But many scientists say there is overwhelming evidence that natural origin — Virus Transmission from animals to humans – is the most likely scenario.
In a report seen by The Wall Street Journal, four other us The agency agreed with the FBI and said the lab leak was likely the result of natural transmission.
The Journal added that the other two agencies had still not formally made a decision.
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Professor Gao told the BBC that there was a formal investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology and “the laboratory was double-checked by experts in the field”.
He added: “I think their conclusion is that they complied with all the agreements. They did not find (any) wrongdoing.”
What is China’s comment on the “lab leak”?
“The so-called ‘lab leak’ is a lie fabricated by anti-China forces, with political motives and no scientific basis,” the Chinese embassy in the UK told the BBC.
Earlier this year, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that the involvement of the U.S. intelligence community was enough to prove the “politicization of origin tracing.”
“By repeating the theory of laboratory leaks, the United States will not succeed in discrediting China, but will only damage its own credibility,” Ms. Mao said.
“We urge the United States to respect science and facts … to stop turning origin tracing into politics and intelligence, and to stop undermining social unity and origin cooperation,” she added.
When did COVID-19 start spreading?
In December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of multiple cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, China, according to a report on the UK government website.
In January 2020, it was announced that a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) had been identified from a patient sample.
A month later, the virus was officially named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it caused was named COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 336.8 million years of life have been lost globally Due to the pandemic.